U.S. natural gas feeds fuel-cell research

May 14, 2013 at 6:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department said it aimed to make hydrogen-fueled vehicles cheaper for consumers by working with the industry in a program dubbed H2USA.

The Energy Department said it was teaming with automakers, natural gas suppliers and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to look for ways to make the technology an affordable and readily available source of fuel.

The department said support from the government and national laboratories pushed the cost of fuel cell technology down more than 35 percent since 2008.

"By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options," Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy David Danielson said in a statement.

Members of the partnership include the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association as well as automakers like Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.

Most of the hydrogen produced in the United States comes from natural gas. The Energy Department said the "tremendous" natural gas reserves at homes means looking closer at alternative vehicles makes economic sense.

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